Mumbai: Sunil Raut, the man who is allegedly behind the attacks on the IBN Lokmat offices in Mumbai and Pune has surrendered in Mumbai on Tuesday evening.
Raut surrendered after sustained media pressure, walking upto the Kannamwar Nagar police station in Vikhroli.
On Saturday, November 21, police had arrested 23 Shiv Sena activists and detained three others in connection with the attacks on IBN Lokmat offices in Mumbai and Pune with sources claiming that Sunil Raut, brother of Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, was behind the attack.
Police officials had said that Sunil Raut had been absconding and a massive search had been launched to nab him. Sunil had lost the recent Maharashtra Assembly election from Bhandup.
While 17 people have been arrested in Mumbai, six Shiv Sainiks have been arrested in Pune. Out of the 17 arrested in Mumbai seven were handed over to the police by IBN Lokmat staff on Friday following the attack.
The 17 arrested in Mumbai have been charged with attempt to murder, trespass and rioting - all bailable offences. They were produced in a heavily secured Vikhroli court and sent to two days police custody.
Despite the all round condemnation of the attack Shiv Sena has remained unrepentant and has blamed the media for the attack by its activists on the IBN offices in Mumbai and Pune on Friday evening.
Shiv Sena said that media coverage on party supremo Bal Thackeray provoked Shiv Sainiks to launch the attack against the news channel.
An article in the party mouthpiece Saamana has in fact blamed the media for instigating the attack. The Saamana editorial claims Sainiks were provoked by the allegedly disrespectful language used by IBN Lokmat against Bal Thackeray.
"Over the last few days, IBN Lokmat has used condemnable language against Bal Thackeray. Shiv Sainiks were opposing this. We will not tolerate such language," said the article.
Meanwhile, journalists from across the board had submitted a memorandum to Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan demanding action against the ringleaders of the attack.
The memorandum demands an ordinance for the protection of journalists suggesting that attacks on them to be treated as non-bailable offences.
Reactions have been pouring in from all over against the attacks.
"The police has been penetrated till quite high up by the MNS and Shiv Sena. As a result the charges are framed in a way that lets them get away. I would like to see what punishment is given to the seven people," said social activist Gerson de Cunha.
"When a political incident happens then the intrinsics of the law don't work. Political expedience governs the process of criminal justice system," said State Reserve Police (SRP) Mumbai commandant, Y P Singh.